The Forgiveness Factor (Part 13)

Is there a fifty gallon drum of unforgiveness deteriorating inside the little shed on the back-side of your soul? If so, the rest of these blogs will help you deal with it God’s way. The result will be revolutionary and result in a life-changing experience.

Jesus said something in Matthew 6:14-15 that we tend to gloss over, explain away, or other-wise ignore completely. He said, “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive men, then your heavenly Father will not forgive your transgressions (underlined for emphasis). That verse is fairly self-explanatory. You don’t need a degree in biblical Greek to catch the gist of what Jesus way saying. If you forgive others—God forgives yours. If you don’t—God won’t!

When you or I refuse to forgive, we insert ourselves in God’s place as the judge, jury, and executioner, and that’s a place none of us have the authority to usurp. Do you truly believe God is a God of righteousness and justice? Are you afraid God will allow even the tiniest smidgen of wickedness to slide by undetected? Do you really think he needs your help? Abraham summed it up this way in Genesis 18:25: “Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what it right?”

In other words, God does not treat the wicked like the righteous. Wickedness (disobedience) brings justice. Justice is a part of God’s character—He will do what is right. He will bring justice to bear where there is injustice. Make no mistake about it—that which a person sows, he or she will indeed reap. You can take that to the bank with you! So, isn’t it about time you trusted God?

True forgiveness is an act of the will—a choice you must make. Will you allow God to be the judge, the jury, and the executioner, or do not trust him after all? Unforgiveness does not empower you, but forgiveness does. In forgiving, you take a step back and allow God to do what God intends to do. This willing act allows you to accept the hurt or wound, without demanding that the offender pay you back. No longer is getting even or taking revenge an option. But—this kind of forgiveness must be given freely without any strings attached, or it is not forgiveness.

Forgiveness is truly a process that requires a partnership with God. We are simply unable to grant another person biblical forgiveness apart from God’s power and love being exercised through us. We need help to do what we are supposed to do.

Let me say this again—loud and clear. Total forgiveness is a process and you will need God’s help to complete this process.